HALEY MORKERT | HEAD DESIGNER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphic by Haley Morkert.
It only took four years, but here I am writing my first — and last — article for the Collegian. As a designer, I have been behind a lot of the print designs over the past four years. You may recognize my name from the corner of graphics and images throughout the weekly publications, but now it is time for my own byline. I have been working behind the scenes as a designer since the very beginning of my freshman year, and unfortunately, my time with the Collegian is now coming to an end as I make my way toward graduation.
In high school, I knew I had a passion for design. I was the editor-in-chief of the yearbook for two years. While there were many instances where I was frustrated with students who didn’t care about quality photos or consistent layout, it was in my yearbook class that I realized my love for design.
When I began touring colleges during my junior and senior year of high school, the question I would always ask was “Do you have a yearbook?” Usually the answer was, “Not really.” When I first came to Butler, I asked the same question. I was told there wasn’t a yearbook at the time — although what was there was the Collegian. Had I ever worked for a newspaper? No. Had I ever used Adobe InDesign? No. Did I know what I was doing? Definitely not. But did I apply to be a designer? Absolutely.
It feels like just last week I was pacing back and forth in my home in Washington in the summer of 2019 on the phone with Meghan Stratton, the managing editor at the time, talking about joining the design team. I was so nervous and worried I wouldn’t be able to join. Given that I was moving across the country and going to school where I knew no one, I wanted to give myself the best chance at making friends by joining the Collegian. The relief I felt when she told me she would see me in August was unmatched and made me even more excited for what was to come in my college experience.
I remember my first night walking into the Collegian office and looking for Meghan to give me directions. I remember how it took me twice as long as the other designers to design one page. I remember asking numerous questions from, “How do I take the gradient off this line?” to “How do I wrap text around this picture?”
It took me a while to finally get the hang of designing for a newspaper and even longer to figure out InDesign. I would say it took me months to remember how to take the gradient effect off of a dividing line.
Last October, looking through our archives, I found the very first page I ever designed, and let me tell you — it was ugly and atrocious, to say the least. While it was a horrible-looking page, and definitely not the only rough page I have designed, it made me realize how far I have come. I can finally look at my page designs and graphics today and be proud of how much progress I have made.
When I joined the Collegian, there was no such position as “head designer.” As the years progressed, I realized that as designers came and left, there needed to be someone to help teach new designers and review pages before publishing. I advocated for the position going into my senior year, and — lo and behold — the position was created. I filled the position and committed myself to giving the best designs and graphics. As head designer I have been at the office on Tuesday nights just as long as the editor-in-chief into the early morning.
I jumped at the chance to make the Collegian look its best and dove right into the position. I have always been someone to rise to a challenge and stay productive. So productive to go as far as becoming a triple major in creative media and entertainment, music industry studies and web design and development, along with working various jobs and participating in other activities. Usually the response I get after I tell someone I’m a triple major is either, “You’re crazy,” or, “Okay, overachiever!” I don’t disagree. It is crazy, and I definitely have my moments of “what the h*ll am I doing?”
Out of all the things I’ve done and joined during my time at Butler, joining the Collegian is one of the best choices I could have made. I’ve made many changes throughout my college career, from jobs to majors, but the Collegian has always been consistent in my college experience.
What was different about the Collegian from my high school yearbook team though was that you could tell everyone in the room not only cared greatly about what they were publishing but cared about one another. Everyone who is a part of the Collegian is dedicated to putting out great stories and content on behalf of the Butler community.
Being from Washington State, I knew no one in the Midwest, let alone at Butler. I joined the Collegian to be a part of a community and to hopefully find friends. Let me tell you that the Collegian is filled with some of the kindest, most caring individuals you will ever meet. Tuesday nights are filled with laughter and support every week thanks to the amazing people on the editorial board.
Thank you to the girl in my FYS class who was also in the Collegian. I went up to her and said, “Hey! I heard you were in the Collegian?” She responded with, “Yep,” and walked away without another word. She has helped me through so many ups and downs over the years and is one of the best people you will ever encounter. That girl is now my roommate of three years and best friend, Emma Quasny.
Thank you to the girl who came over to my dorm to help film an infomercial of the “Blendar,” and thought I looked really cool over Zoom. She has been one of my biggest supporters and has brought me so much joy in life. That girl is now my amazing girlfriend of two years, Jackie Andrzejewski.
Thank you to the girl who was also lost on orientation day, and we helped each other find Fairbanks for our advising session. She agreed to be my first-year roommate two hours later. That girl has been my friend and roommate for all four years, Emily Schaller.
Thank you to my parents, who have supported me through everything and convinced me to go to school halfway across the country. They have helped me make some of my toughest decisions in life and have shaped me into the person I am today. Thank you, mom, for letting me call you multiple times a week to just ramble and say “hi” when I was homesick. Thank you, dad, for answering my hundreds of questions about resumes, job applications and car insurance.
Thank you to Nana, the woman who is like a second mom to me and never fails to make me feel better, keep me updated on the cats and share soup recipes with me.
Thank you to the wonderful design team, Elizabeth, Abby, Isabel and Maggie, for putting up with my antics and pickiness about designs. They are wonderful designers and talented individuals that I know will continue to create great designs and graphics.
Thank you to the editorial board for believing in me and working on designs with me. You put your trust in me to create quality page designs and have made me feel so loved and appreciated throughout the years.
The Collegian is composed of some of the greatest people I will ever meet. I will forever remember my time with this group of people and all the late nights we shared together. I hope that as I am nearing the end of my time at the Collegian, I have left a positive impact on future designs, and I have full confidence in the design team to continue their fantastic work.
I don’t know how to condense my four years at the Collegian and at Butler into one article. I was not prepared to make it all the way through four years to be writing my own senior sendoff. I’ve watched members of our editorial board leave one by one, writing their sendoffs and goodbyes. It has been bittersweet, but so exciting to see my friends continue on to great opportunities and careers, and to meet new friends as the editorial positions are filled. Who would have guessed that I would be here, like they once were, saying goodbye?
Unfortunately, that is how life is, with constant “hellos” and “goodbyes.” I am one of the longest-standing members of the Collegian and have said my own hellos and goodbyes to many members. It is now my turn to take on new opportunities and take my first steps into adult life. So here I am saying my goodbyes.